I really love the progress the Bears offense continues to make. Once again, they didn’t give up any sacks against an underachieving yet dangerous Giants team. Jay Cutler hasn’t thrown an interception in his last 94 passes. Matt Forte is on pace for 1,000 rushing 600 receiving yards. If only they can start to get Forte in a rhythm between the tackles…
The defense, on a different note, continues to disappoint. I understand that they took the ball away three times against the Giants, but everyone has been doing that. They continue to give up way too many yards. Brandon Jacobs wasn’t on a roster a few weeks ago, and he came into Soldier Field and looked like he was 26 years old again. They put absolutely no pressure on Eli Manning and that was nothing new. Each and every week, they lack a pass rush and that will eventually catch up to them.
Today, the Bears head to the largest stadium in football—FedEx Field. The Redskins are really struggling. Their defense is giving up 395 yards per game. They have given up 271 passing yards each week on average, and they are even yielding 4.2 yards per carry. A week ago, they played in primetime in Dallas and really stunk. Robert Griffin was over-throwing his receivers left and right. It looks like he is back to being as fast as he was last season, but his mechanics are atrocious. Washington lost two players to season-ending injuries last Sunday, too. Right now, they are 1-4, and if it wasn’t for Matt Flynn, they would probably be 0-5.
College Football Recap
There were quite a few upsets yesterday. Auburn beat Texas A&M in a shootout in College Station, thanks to a Johnny Manziel shoulder injury. Vanderbilt scored 17 fourth quarter points at home to take down Georgia. Duke even scored 35 unanswered points to defeat Virginia on the road.
Jameis Winston is incredible. I tweeted last night that he is easily the best player in college football, and I’m not backing down from it. Marcus Mariota is great, but Winston is a true freshman putting up great numbers in not-as-friendly of a system for quarterbacks. If the draft were tomorrow and Mariota, Bridgewater and Winston were all eligible, Winston would go number one.
USC is pathetic. Pat Haden better strike it rich with his new head coach, or he will be getting fired at an airport soon. How Southern California, with their weather and women and tradition, can’t find a competent quarterback and kicker is beyond me. I understand that the reduction of scholarships hurts, but to go on the road against a horrible backup quarterback for a half who gave them great field position time and time again yet still only score 10 points is extremely shitty.
The weather in our nation’s capital shows a great day for football. Temperatures will be in the high 50’s at the start and will rise into the mid-60’s throughout.
The Jon Bostic era is upon us. Brandon Jacobs ran D.J. Williams over last Thursday, and in the process, Williams tore his right pectoral muscle. He will miss the rest of the season. That’s now three players on defense that will be out for the remainder of the year. Charles Tillman (groin/knee), Martellus Bennett (knee), Anthony Walters (hamstring), Major Wright (knee), and James Anderson (back) are all questionable but should play. Stephen Paea (toe) is probable, and he was sorely missed in the last two games. As I mentioned earlier, Washington is having some injury problems as well. LB Bryan Kehl (knee) and LS Nick Sundberg (knee) both suffered season-ending injuries against the Cowboys last week. TE Fred Davis (ankle), LB Brandon Jenkins (ankle), and C Will Montgomery (knee) are all probable. Rookie CB David Amerson (head) suffered a nasty looking hit last week and looked unconscious on the field. He will play today, though.
Did you know?
Since 2003, the Bears have scored a defensive touchdown in 32 different games. In those games, they are 27-5.
I started out so well and have shown a rapid decline in these predictions ever since. Today, I’ll take the Patriots to barely fly by the Jets, Panthers to top the Rams, Lions to roar past the Bengals, Steelers over the Ravens, and the Broncos to beat the Colts in what everyone apparently believes is the game of the century. (16-15 on the year)
Players to Watch
Pierre Garcon- If Pierre Garcon played somewhere out west, nobody would even know who he is. Instead, he plays east of the Mississippi, so everyone thinks he’s the next Jerry Rice. Garcon is fast, and that’s about it. He has only played a full season once in five years. He drops a lot of passes, too. Be that as it may, Daniel Snyder gave Garcon a huge contract a few years back to join the Redskins after never having more than 950 yards in a season in Indianapolis. Because Garcon is really Washington’s only threat in terms of wide receivers, he gets a lot of looks from Robert Griffin. The Bears’ secondary has to take Garcon out of the game today and let Leonard Hankerson and Santana Moss beat them.
Ryan Kerrigan- When the Redskins selected Ryan Kerrigan 16th overall in 2011, I thought it was a sketchy pick. Before this season began, Kerrigan was a disappointment. Similar to Cameron Jordan from the Saints, Kerrigan’s career has been up and down since entering the league. The only positive for Kerrigan is that he had never missed a game. However, it finally seems like he was worthy of the selection. In his first two years, Kerrigan had 16 sacks combined. This year, he already has 5. He has forced two fumbles as well. The Bears offensive line has been very good this year, but Kerrigan is a potentially hellacious matchup for Jermon Bushrod and Jordan Mills.
Alshon Jeffery- Last year, I was very tough on Alshon Jeffery. I thought he was fat, slow, injured, and that he displayed bad hands. This year, he has been fantastic. Jeffery is on pace for an 85 catch/1,000 yard season. Today, Jeffery has to play well again. DeAngelo Hall is a giant douchebag, but that doesn’t have anything to do with his ability. Last week, he held Dez Bryant to only five catches for under 40 yards. It would seem logical for Redskins’ defensive coordinator Jim Haslett to match Hall up on Brandon Marshall. In that case, Jeffery has to dominate the other starting CB for Washington, Josh Wilson. Unfortunately, Wilson is having a solid year, so it won’t be easy.
Julius Peppers- Going into this year, the least of my worries was Julius Peppers. He started out slow against Cincinnati, and I defended him saying that it’s just one game. Going into the Minnesota game in week two, I said that it would be hard for him to have an impact due to the field conditions. In week three, he scored a defensive touchdown and a week later in Detroit, he had a strip-sack of Matthew Stafford. At that moment, everything seemed great. Since that day, Peppers has done nothing. No, I mean that: nothing. He doesn’t have any stats the past two weeks. Not even one fucking tackle. The last time he had a tackle, the government was open. Washington’s offensive line has only given up 10 sacks through five games led by star T Trent Williams, but Peppers has to start doing something soon, because if he doesn’t, who will?
The Redskins come into this game in deep shit. The NFC East is wide open, but if they fall to 1-5, their season might just be over. Robert Griffin looks like he did in his first two years at Baylor. Alfred Morris is slightly banged up. Brian Orakpo only has three sacks. Sav Rocca, their punter, has made it possible to be worse than Adam Podlesh as Rocca is last in net and average punting. Their defense only has three interceptions through five games, but what did they expect when they began the year with a dope like Brandon Meriweather starting in their secondary? Similar to New York last week, Washington isn’t really catching any breaks this season. They realize that they have to start winning games soon, and that is what makes this contest so scary for Chicago. The Redskins have to win this game. The Bears don’t have to, although it would be ideal with a bye week before heading Green Bay. Going back to week one of 2012, the ‘Skins are a mediocre 5-5 at home. In Jay Cutler’s 100th career start in a place where he has never played, the Bears win a tight one. Bears 24-23. (5-1 on the year)
-Brian Ociepka (@bjociepka1)